Snow Train to Leavenworth–not the prison

Yesterday, Jeremy asked me about my Christmas bucket list.  If you’ve watched enough 1930’s and 40’s movies, you will remember that the high society New Yorkers often took the snow train to Vermont for weekend getaways, skiing and romance.  That would be #1 on my bucket list.  Amtrack recently re-instated the New York/Vermont snow train, and one day I hope to be on it.

On the West Coast, though, one Snow Train goes from Seattle, Washington to Leavenworth, Washington each of four weekends in December.  Leavenworth, at the base of the Cascade mountains, was once a thriving lumber town.  When the lucrative timber industry dried up in the 1960’s, the residents made a decision to do a makeover of their town, transforming it into a Bavarian village and catering to tourists.  Strangely, it worked!

At Christmas, Leavenworth goes all out, and the Snow Train ($169 per person) features breakfast, Santa, entertainment, a day in the village, the tree lighting and caroling and then dinner on the return train.  It sounds a little like a packaged Christmas, but I imagine that many families make it their tradition.